As I write this the first official UK astronaut, Major Tim Peake, has safely arrived aboard the International Space Station. The launch was spectacular and after four orbits of the Earth and six hours travel they reached the ISS. Due to complications with the automatic docking procedure the Soyuz crew, with immense skill, had to manually dock the spacecraft before boarding could take place. What an astounding feat.
Part of Major Tim’s task in space is to carry out educational projects. The launch was watched by thousands of excited school children. Schools will be following his time on the ISS and children will be able to talk to him there from their schools. What wonders of modern technology.
More astounding, however, is the view of Earth from the ISS. Apparently fewer than 600 people have actually seen Earth from space, but those who have say it is an incredibly beautiful and very emotional experience such that the reality of it is hard to grasp. What an amazing experience.
God truly created an incredible world. He made us in his image with the ability to be remarkably creative and skilled people. As Christmas fast approaches we see his amazing love for this world by sending his Son, the Saviour of the world, to be born in Bethlehem. It astonished people then and should astonish us too. What a miracle.
By the Revd Canon Philippa Brunt, Area Dean of Forest South.